“What is something that you disagree with in the way that you were raised?”
Oh. This is an easy one. My parents were not perfect. They were amazing, though. I had a very good childhood, and I have them to thank for that. The one thing that comes to mind, is the use of the phrase “Because I said so!”
ARGH, Y’all… All that EVER did was leave me frustrated. As a young child being told not to do something, it is natural to ask WHY? “Because I said so!” is not a valid answer in my opinion. It is very authoritarian. It just made me ask why, again and again. I needed a valid answer. And I think for most kids, a valid answer would go a lot further.
I vowed NEVER to use that term with my child. And in ALL honesty? I have said it maybe once or twice.
Kids are inquisitive to begin with. When telling them NO, explain briefly WHY the answer is no. Help them to understand your position. I believe it goes a long way into building a bridge of mutual respect, and solid communication. I knew that I had to be a parent, and not a friend, to my daughter. However, I also wanted this to be a partnership.
Why a partnership? Because this relationship and this path in life, neither of us has done before. I wanted to do it WITH her, not tower over her like a tyrant. That is not to say that I do not assert my authority, because I most certainly have, and I continue to do so when needed. I just do it in a way that is mutually beneficial … Explaining my reasoning, helps her to understand the situation from my point of view. That helps her to understand, and then we can move on. There is no longer an argument. She never once has argued it with me. She asks why, I explain why. All is well. It has really worked out good for us.
I have a child who is respectful of others. She IS autistic and has some issues with.. tact, and self control. If she gets frustrated, or feels like you are not really listening to her, she gets emotional and will shut down. She also does not make eye contact very well, which a lot of older folks sometimes see as a sign of disrespect, but it is NOT that at all.
If you engage her, she will blow your mind. She is amazing. I worked hard to make sure that she knew that even though she was ‘just a kid’ and I was the adult, she is valid. Her feelings are valid. I did not let her rule the roost. She knows we are the parents and what we say goes. But again, we always took a moment to explain the “WHY” behind it all. She is a pretty well-adjusted, thoughtful, kind, compassionate, fierce young woman with a voice she is not afraid to use. I am insanely proud of who she has become.
And I owe a lot of that not just to HER, but to my parents.
Why? Because I said so. ;P
Until next time …